Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Refugium moves into a new building

It's been a while since I changed the appearance of Refugium - the small meditation place I've been running in Second Norway. Yesterday I gave it an updated look: the old medieval chapel has been replaced with a more modern structure, with large windows and a nice view of the ocean.

As Duncan and I were meditating earlier today, the full moon was just coming up...

The place is on the exact same location of the old Refugium. We meet for 30-minute meditation sessions every day (unless RL interferes), starting at 1130 pm SLT. To visit, any time, please follow this SLurl.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Breakfast Cruise

This morning after the meditation session, Duncan took me on a short cruise on his new boat.

The weather was so nice, the wind warm, it was perfect for sunbathing.

Unfortunately, I've been having problems with sim crossings lately, resulting in this mishap and getting logged off.

Once I logged back in, we had a chat...

... in the middle of the ocean.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Silent movie nights in June 2017

This month at the Odie Cinema we'll be watching some of the notable silent documentaries. As always, projections take place Fridays from 1 pm SLT, at this location.

2 June 2017
Die Stadt der Millionen
A 1925 documentary about Berlin, made by Alfred Trotz.

9 June 2017
Nanook of the North
Robert Flaherty's 1922 docudrama about the culture of the Inuits.

16 June 2017
Frank Hurley's 1919 documentary depiction of Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole.

30 June 2017
The Epic of the Everest
Captain John Noel's record of the third British ascent of Everest, filmed in 1924.

An evening in Berlin

It's the week of the 1920s Berlin sim anniversary celebrations. There are lots of events planned for each day, and yesterday Duncan, Ciska and I went to the pool party at the local Volksbad.

By the time I arrived, there were already lots of people there. And as I was running late, there was no time to update my outfit, so I had to use my old Berlin appearance...

Duncan and I had a few drinks, while Ciska must have been checking out the guys.

Later we went to the steam room which, I can tell you, is no fun if you have to sit there in full swimsuit. Next time, I'll be taking that one off...

Finally, we went to wash in the upper rooms.

I had to peek over the partition... Ooh-la-la!

After we visited the new library building and a few other places along the way, we took Ciska to the train station, as she had to take the late night train back home.

After a night cap, we ended the evening at my place on Dorotheenstraße, slowly drifting into sleep...

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Silent movie nights in May 2017

After a somewhat depressing selection of April movies (ironically, it was supposed to be Gay April), we are all ready for some laughs - in May we'll be showing silent comedies we haven't seen until now.

You will find the full schedule below, but first a brief reminder that all movie nights take place Fridays starting at 1 pm SLT at this location. You can find more information in the Odie Cinema Facebook group, or in the Google Plus collection.

5 May 2017
Isn't Life Terrible? (1925)

When you win a cruise trip, but just about everything goes wrong! A slapstick directed by Leo McCarey, starring Charlie Chase, Oliver Hardy, Katherine Grant. Duration: 25 minutes.

12 May 2017
Speedy (1928)

Harold Lloyd saves New York's last horse-drawn trolley, helping his girlfriend's family business survive the arrival of railroad. Baseball fans will be interested to know that Babe Ruth also appears in the movie! Duration: 66 minutes.

19 May 2017
The Circus (1928)

The first Charlie Chaplin movie we're showing at the Odie! A romantic comedy in which the Tramp finds the love of his life in a circus. Starring Charlie Chaplin, Merna Kennedy. Duration: 72 minutes.

26 May 2017
Two Tars (1928)

Laurel and Hardy as two sailors on leave, end up in a huge traffic jam... Directed by James Parrott. Duration: 22 minutes.

After this short silent comedy, we'll go for a drive around the SL continent of Nautilus in vintage cars!

Heterocera Travelogue #20: Bedstraw

In the previous instalment of my travelogue, I was in Amella, close to the east coast of Heterocera. From the distance, the neighbouring Bedstraw didn't look very promising, but as it was the next stop along this route, I paid it a visit.

Bedstraw's location is quiet interesting. It is to the east of Amella and is the first of the sims I've visited that has also access to Route 5 (on its easternmost part) and to the ocean. Almost half of the sim is owned by Governor Linden, with nothing rezzed on it. The parcels bordering that land are all owned by Southern Kingdom of Bedstraw, and all contain nuclear reactors, emitting fluorescent green smoke. Perhaps I should have worn a gas mask or something...

In stark contrast, not far from the reactors, along the shore, is Southern Kingdom's nicer part, with trees, chairs, and a hammock, with the view of the Route 5 bridge.

The parcel right along the coast contains cannons on it. They emit a lot of blue balls that end up hitting Route 5, so be careful if you drive there! They are not actually dangerous in any way, although their effects makes everything look like a mild griefing situation.

The rest of Bedstraw is a large sandbox, with 1 week expiration, which explains why the area looks the way it does...

Walking deeper into the land I came across the very heart of Southern Kingdom of Bedstraw - the castle surrounded by trees and a small lake. There are no banlines or security orbs and it is possible to walk inside and explore.

The bedroom door was locked, but I managed to peek inside and take a snapshot of the interior. It seems the castle really is ancient.

In the halls, there are interesting old manuscripts that you can leaf through, and that is probably the most interesting thing about all of Bedstraw.

The top floor of the castle looks rather psychedelic, with a giant kaleidoscope and a "meditation ball".

The very tall tower on the side of the castle is actually hollow and impossible to climb, but camming inside showed me this...

It is possible to sit on one of the swings at the very top, though, which gave me a not very nice view of this strange sim and the surrounding area. There were sim restarts in progress, otherwise everything would have looked even messier.

In brief, if you want to inhale radioactive fumes, sunbathe in the immediate vicinity of nuclear reactors, or enjoy the unique architecture and furniture design of the early SL, Bedstraw is the place to go!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Gay April at Odie Cinema

April is a special month for the Odie Cinema, as it was on April 15, 2016 that our silent movie nights first started.

That first screening was part of an exhibition I organised on my island in Second Norway - Love in Sepia - showing early photographs depicting male-male intimacy. To go with the theme, the first movie was Different from the Others (Anders als die Andern), a 1919 German silent on the subject of homosexuality. It was only after that movie that I came to the idea of organizing regular silent movie nights in Second Life.

The venue of the first silent movie night

At the very beginning, the movie nights were a once-a-month event on the island, first in the park, during summer months on a boat, later in a proper cinema building.

Inside an earlier building used for the cinema

Eventually they evolved into weekly gatherings at a separate mainland location in Odie, Nautilus, taking place on Fridays, 13:00 SLT (exceptionally at 14:00).

Additionally, there is now a Facebook group dedicated to Odie Cinema, and a Google Plus collection, both featuring news and updates, as well as background information on the scheduled movies.

Snapshot of our group page on FB

I must say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of our community. My Friday evenings wouldn't be the same without you! Special thanks goes to those who have been helping me in various ways, from technical support to donations (often both): Duncan, Monique, Ciska, Florian, Zoe, Terance.

In honour of the Odie Cinema beginnings, this April will be dedicated to homosexuality in silent cinema. There is a surprising number of silent movies which had either a homoerotic plot or subplot, and this month's selection is aimed at showing some of the most important ones.

7th April 2017
Michael (Mikael, 1924)
Made by the celebrated Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer, this German movie made history. Based on the novel by Herman Bang (who himself was gay), it tells the story of an unusual love triangle. The film has been praised for visual beauty and psychological insight. Starring Benjamin Christensen (known to Odie Cinema regulars as the director of Swedish movie "Witches"), Walter Slezak, Nora Gregor.

14th April 2017
Le menage moderne du Madame Butterfly (c. 1920)
We're going to celebrate our first anniversary with a bang! This adult movie is the first known movie to include explicit scenes of gay / bi sex. It is only about 6 minutes long, and the intertitles are in French, but I'm sure people will have no trouble following the plot...

It was directed by Bernard Natan, a Romanian-born French director and actor, and the owner of Pathe - the world famous movie company. He was also one of the most important names in the early history of adult cinema, as well as the history of television: in 1929, he was the founder of France's first TV station, Television-Baird-Natan, and a contributor to important TV experiments done earlier that year in Germany.

21st April 2017
Sex in Chains (Geschlecht in Fesseln, 1928)
This German silent movie was directed by Wilhelm Dieterle. The movie is about a group of cellmates, their (sexual) frustrations in the absence of women, and how the prison changed them. The film apparently aimed at a prison reform in Weimar Germany, rather than anything to do with homosexuality, but it is nowadays considered an important early gay-themed film. Starring Wilhelm Dieterle, Gunnar Tolnaes, Paul Henckels.

28th April 2017
Lot in Sodom (1933)
This is an experimental, avant-garde movie directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber. It is not entirely silent, but I thought it would be a shame to miss it this month. It is based on a well-known Biblical narrative, and in fact the intertitles are all quotes from the Bible. Of course, homosexuality hasn't always been led into connection with the sin of Sodom, but that is the case here. Starring Friedrich Haak, Hildegarde Watson, Lewis Whitbeck, Dorothea Haus.

P. S.
Finally, as a reminder, here's a list of all the films we've had the chance to see until now (you can search most of the titles on the blog for more information). They are all available on YouTube, if you want to do some catching up...

April 2016
* Different from the Others

May 2016
* Sunrise - A Song of Two Humans

June 2016
* The General
* The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

July 2016
* The Abyss

August 2016
summer break

September 2016 (theme: German expressionist films)
* From Morn Till Midnight
* The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
* Destiny
* The Last Laugh

October 2016 (theme: silent horrors)
* The Cat and the Canary
* Witches
* Nosferatu
* The Haunted Castle
* The Haunted House

November 2016 (theme: Vamps)
* A Fool There Was
* Salome
* Cobra
* The Circle

December 2016 (theme: Christmas)
* Three's a Crowd
* A Little Girl Who Did Not Believe in Santa
* A Trap for Santa Claus
* The Night Before Christmas
* A Christmas Carol
* The Adventure of the Wrong Santa Claus
* Big Business

January 2017 (theme: American South in silent cinema)
* Our Hospitality
* Sparrows
* The Birth of a Nation

February 2017 (theme: silent westerns directed by William S. Hart)
* The Return of Draw Egan
* Hell's Hinges
* Wagon Tracks
* Tumbleweeds

March 2017 (theme: Japanese silent movies directed by Yasujiro Ozu)
* Days of Youth
* I Was Born, But...
* Woman of Tokyo
* Dragnet Girl

Telephone Museum

Here's a nice exhibition in the new Telephone Museum in Second Life. It is found in a skybox above the mainland Dent sim, and contains replicas of telephones, from the earliest 19th century models to the contemporary ones.

The number of exhibits is not great, but everything is displayed in a very compact and concise way - perfect if you don't have much time available.

There are useful information panels on different time periods. Next to each one you can click the "listen" button, to hear the audio, which is great for those who might have difficulty with reading.

I particularly liked the recording of Alexander Graham Bell, taken from the original wax disks. 

History and technology buffs will love it here! To reach the Telephone Museum, follow this SLurl.